Paul Dunbar, formerly of Liverpool 6-piece soul/rock/blues act The Midnight Ramble, has self released his debut single ‘Barely Holding On’. The single was created with producers Marc Joy (Oasis, Primal Scream) and Paul Thompson (Ellen & The Escapades). Dunbar is recording with the newly formed Black Winter Band, Tom Cowley (Drums,Percussion,Vocals) and Callum Williams (Bass,Keys,Vocals) complete the lineup.
‘Barely Holding On’ is a warm melodic track wrapped in charming country tones and drizzled with rock elements. The passionate raspy soulful vocals and catchy sway along melody teamed with soothing mellow guitar and a steady spongy beat gives the track a bright cosy yet nostalgic and emotional tone. This track is a sweet sounding tuneful bundle of passion with tender lyrics and a sweet reminiscent tone on guitar that is thought provoking like a fond distant memory that twinkles around your mind but to far to recall fully.
Paul Dunbar & The Black Winter Band have a London launch show on Fri 28 Oct at The Century Club, Soho with promoter Success Express Music.
Stream ‘Barely Holding On’ below
South Wales four-piece Climbing Trees consists of members Matthew Frederick (Piano, Guitar, Vocals), Colenso Jones (Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Martin Webb (Guitar, Bass, Vocals) and James Bennetts (Drums, Percussion, Vocals). They describe their sound as Cymrucana (mixture of folk, country and Americana). The band formed in 2011 and came to the attention of BBC Introducing with the distinctive sound of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Hebron’, which was recorded in isolation in the woods of Carmarthenshire, the band were announced as one of twelve artists to take part in the inaugural year of the BBC and Arts Council of Wales’ Horizons project in the Spring of 2014. They have had appearances at Green Man Festival, Festival No.6 and The Hay Festival and have also performed at the Dylan Thomas Centenary celebrations in Laugharne Castle. With a live session at London’s legendary Maida Vale Studios , a television appearance alongside the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as soundtracking the BBC’s Real Valleys season and featuring in American documentary Fade To Winter, Climbing Trees have had a busy few years and gained an ever growing following.
The band have finished their eagerly-awaited and much anticipated second album ‘Borders’ which has been shortlisted for this year’s Welsh Music Prize. This month they released their new single ‘Amber’ which is the third to be taken from the album. The track is flush with bright warm tones and richly entwined with lush melodies and glowing textures. The addition of the string quartet adds a delicate sweet elegance and sway to the track lifting it up and giving it flight and motion. The piano is also gentle and tender and compliments the track perfectly adding a beautiful graceful quality. The vocals are warm and soothing with smooth soft country tones. The guitars glitter and glisten while also adding depth to the elevating song. Climbing Trees continue to progress and perfect their unique sound and give us a track that is feathery light yet dense with warm golden textures.
Brooklyn-based rock and roll band Skunkmello have released their new album ‘Hot Chicken’ today. Matt Bartlett (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ed Cuervo (guitar, vocals), Jay Holt (bass,vocals) and Jono Ori (drums, vocals) have created their sound which blends the influences of classic rock and blues artists, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Towns Van Zandt and The Rolling Stones. The group’s three previous releases, Whiskey & Oatmeal EP (2012), 2013’s Lowlife Dreams EP which were produced by the band and mastered by Grammy Award‐winner Brian Lucey,( The Black Keys’ Brothers and El Camino albums) and 2014’s Stars & Stripes, have all met with critical acclaim and ‘Hot Chicken’ follows with in the same manner.
‘Hot Chicken’ pulls together the best of classic rock and roll with country twangs and refreshing blasts of blues to make a solid smooth album full of swagger. ‘Cardboard Box Disguise’ kicks things off in a true rock and roll style with husky vocals, luscious guitar twangs and a sick drum beat that pulls you to the dance floor. With it’s catchy chorus this fun upbeat track is infectious and starts the album off on a high with added cowboy “woooh” mid guitar solo its full of 50s rock and roll swagger.
‘Ridin’ The River’ follows with a heavier sound to start. The country twang features strongly again while the song takes a swing persona as the harmonica becomes predominate. The bridge is finger clicking and foot tappingly good. Its feel good vibe is infectious and makes this track so easy to listen to.
‘Prime Time Hero’ takes a blues form with a sensual sway/strut effect. The guitar plays a light springy melody to soft bouncy beats. Skunkmello take blues and make it light and fun in this track. The chorus is simple with “wooo yeah” lyrics and trust me you will be singing by the end. This track is full of sass in a smooth seductive style.
‘Rhinestone Shady’ brings us a rock and roll blues with heavier beats and stronger vocals full of attitude. With a crisp slick guitar solo and clever lyrics this song is energetic and yet a true narrative telling a story relative to their lives.
‘Highway 17’ slows the tone down a little with a country almost whiskey drowned ballad. It is beautifully melodic and smooth and gives a driving on a hot summers evening feel. Its full of nostalgia and melancholy tones with lush sweet harmonies in backing vocal, while the main vocals are slightly animated and emotional.
‘ Slaughterhouse Blues’ brings back that “turn it up loud” rock and roll feel while ‘ Alligator Coat’ gives us some distorted sliding guitars and shakes up their sound a little. ‘Cash Flow Blues’ deals with the problem of money or lack of, which we can all relate to. Skunkmello deal with this problem in an upbeat manner full of humour and an almost speaking vocal in the middle. This song is full of clap along beats and definitely is one to get an audience up and dancing.
‘Sweet Delight’ closes the album in a raunchy blues style. The steamy guitars and soft beat gives a longing sway vibe to the track. While the vocals become rough and husky in places. With “ohhh” feature on vocals that begin soft and build to become intense and louder up to the massive guitar solo and an almost shout in vocals and roll on drums. This softens until the guitar plays us out with a kick ass solo and pounding drums to a sudden end. Leaving you wanting more.
Stream ‘Slaughterhouse Blues’ and ‘Highway 17’ below